Unscathed, the debut EP from Middle East metallers Svengali ended up being one of my top albums of 2014. In fact, such was the quality on display, I couldn’t help but wonder how Theory Of Mind, their full-length debut, was going to top it when the band sent this through to me. I shouldn’t have been surprised, however, to find that not only did the progressive metal outfit top their debut, they smashed it out of the ball park.
Easing you into it with the soothing early moments of opener “Lucid,” it isn’t long before the Middle East outfit unleash the full weight of their enormous metallic sound with a brutal delivery that comes across like, for want of a better description, Lamb Of God jamming with Gojira. Powering through a sound that is both dramatically atmospheric and wall-flatteningly heavy, Svengali really have crafted a sound that is, dare I say it, almost flawless. The production is clinical, the atmospherics are magnificent, and the heavy element of their sound is simply devastating. “Skinless” sees them rein in that heaviness for one of the most breathtaking displays I’ve heard in a long time whereas “Thirteen Suns” is a rasping, thunderous blast of twisted modern metal. Basically, as this album progresses, it just gets better and better.
The album winds down with the divine “Laced In Sin” before closing off with the breathtaking “Resonate,” another display of soaring, epic metal from a band who are too good to be kept a secret. Like I said in my intro, I had my reservations as to if and how they’d top their Unscathed debut, but I’ve had this recording on repeat now for a few days and it has to be said that it is hard to pick fault in an album that, from start to finish, is an absolute pleasure to experience.
06. Sink Or Swim
07. Thirteen Suns
08. Inertia (Part 1)
11. Pray For Sanity
12. Laced In Sin
Run Time: 54:33
Release Date: March 17, 2015
Check out the album ‘Theory Of Mind’ here.